What is backlinking?

Posted on April 21st, 2021 to Learn

Google is always searching for relevant and popular pages to serve searchers in SERPs. One of the largest factors that Google looks at is a domains’ backlink profile. You can think of a backlink like a “vote.” Getting sites to “vote” for you is one way to show that you are relevant and trustworthy. Here’s a closer look.

What Is Backlinking?

Backlinking is the process of obtaining a link to your business’s website from another business’s site. If a site links to yours, that is considered a backlink. Backlinking is an important part of your overall search engine optimization plan for your dispensary, and it will help drive more traffic to your site organically.

Why Is Backlinking Important?

1. Search Engine Ranking

Google and other search engines have complex algorithms that decide which sites they will list first, and backlinks are a large part of that. They function as votes indicating that your page is worth ranking. Increasing backlinks from related and trustworthy websites would have a direct, positive effect on your cannabis business’s Google rankings.

2. Referrals

When someone links to your dispensary and says, “Hey, that dispensary had budtenders who really knew their stuff,” trust is then built. Aside from generating click-through traffic to your website, you’ll often convert new customers with the traffic from backlinks as they are trustworthy by nature.

3. Discoverability

Popular pages receive increased visits from search engine bots. When a page contains a large number of backlinks, it appears to be important. It will be identified by Google’s crawlers and increases the chances of boosting rankings.

Types of Backlinks

Any link to your site is beneficial, but there are various types of backlinks. The higher the quality of your referring domain (domain authority), the greater the impact on your discoverability. Here are some examples of backlinks to look for.

1. Authoritative, Trusted Website

Google approves if a site with a high level of authority and trust links to you. For example, a link from Harvard.edu to your dispensary would be more beneficial than a link from, say, your personal portfolio website. Both can be useful in their own ways, but authoritative sites weigh more on Google’s ranking scale.

2. Links on Related Sites

A large part of SEO is about providing Google with the best depiction of your brand. One great way to do that is to focus on acquiring links from related sites that are related to yours. For example, if your dispensary also sells bongs, you may choose to reach out to glass-blowing brands for a backlink. You can list your site in directories or link bait pages, but this will have less of an impact than having a link on a site related to cannabis or health.

3. Dofollow vs Nofollow Links

As you start the process of link building, you’ll want to make sure you focus on “dofollow” links. Dofollow and nofollow links may appear similar on a webpage, but in terms of SEO value – they are very different. Dofollow links are HTML tags that enable Google’s bots to follow them. They pass link juice to your website in a way that nofollow links do not.

Paid advertisements, press releases, and blog comments are frequently nofollow links, indicating that they are of lower value. Links that are embedded within a webpage containing keywords related to your website are the most powerful because they are dofollow links and relevant to your business.

4. First Links from a Page

Another large part of link building is acquiring links from new sites. Backlinks from sites that have already linked to your site will not provide nearly as much SEO value. For example 100 links from 100 sites would be more efficient than 1,000 links from the one site.

How to Get Backlinks

So how can you get backlinks to your site? Here are 4 ways to get quality backlinks.

  1. First, create a website with pages worth linking to (in other words, create great content). This often means something like blog posts, helpful videos, or fun surveys or quizzes that another page’s readers might find interesting.
  2. Next, find link roundups in your niche, which are emails and pages that present a list of links on your topic that others might want to read, and ask that your page or online asset is included. These are high-quality links.
  3. Guest blogging is another way to build links to your page. How it works? You create quality content surrounding your cannabisness, containing links to your site and offer it to another website to be published. Instant links.
  4. Finally, reach out to website owners to inquire about what it takes to get a link from them. You can even gently suggest some links that could replace broken links you found on their page. It costs nothing to send an email and it’s one common way to earn valuable links.

Backlinking needs to be part of your overall SEO strategy. It is powerful and effective when done well, so add it to your dispensary’s toolbox.

VP Digital Marketing, CMO

This post was written by Zach Santarsiero.

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